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Some Democrats are calling on Speaker John A. Boehner to ignore the “majority of the majority” rule of thumb, as others have done to advance major legislation, to avert the Jan. 1 tax hikes and spending cuts. (Associated Press)

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Say hello, Assad: See the Navy warships off the coast of Syria

The Navy has sent four warships — USS Ramage, USS Mahan, USS Gravely and USS Barry — armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea amid violence in Syria. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military actions, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles as they did against Libya in 2011.